In the Chancel of St. Peter’s Church in Sandwich, Kent, is a brass monument.
Here lyeth the bodie of Thomas Gilbert, Gentleman, who
was Searcher of Kent, he had to wyfe Katherin ye Daughter
of Robert ffulmer of east Sutton in Kent, and had Issue by
her vj fonnes + iij daughters where of at his death weare
livinge Thomas Ann Joane + Elizabeth and ye fawe Thomas
Deceased ye vjth of Decemb. Ano 1597, being of ye age of xxxvij years.
The effs which appear are really the long ess, and despite the fact that the word “fawe” in the fifth line clearly contains a w [I can’t tell you how many times I rechecked it, and it came out as a w every time] as the third letter, it probably should really be an emm, making the word “same.”
In modern English, then, we have:
Here lies the body of Thomas Gilbert, Gentleman, who
was Searcher of Kent. He had to wife Katherine the daughter
of Robert Fulmer of East Sutton in Kent, and had issue by
her - six sons and three daughters, whereof at his death were
living Thomas, Ann, Joan, and Elizabeth, and the same Thomas
deceased the sixth of December, 1597, being 37 years of age.
The Gilberts, here Thomas, son of John, were a prominent family in Sandwich. The office of Searcher involved the inspection of leather goods to verify their quality. (Basically, he was a customs officer.) According to Under the Sign: John Bargrave as Collector, Traveler, and Witness by Stephen Bann, Thomas Gilbert was the brother-in-law of Robert Bargrave the Tanner, so had a relationship to the leather goods industry in the area.
His coat of arms (per Burke’s General Armory) is given as:
Gilbert (Savratt, co. Hertford, and Sandwich and Westbury, co. Kent; granted 1593). Gules a saltire or on a chief ermine three piles of the field. Crest - A griffin’s head azure beaked or gorged with a collar ermine.
Given the grant date of 1593, and the death date of 1597, it seems that he did not get much time to use his coat of arms.